Creative Leadership

The Difference Between Change and Progress

Understanding change is critical in this culture, but it’s just as important to understand when change matters. Malcolm Gladwell (author of The Tipping Point and Blink) uses an interesting example. In the last 10 years golf clubs have improved dramatically. There’s been a tidal wave of golf teaching videos, while shoes, gloves, and other accessories have made dramatic improvements.

However, golf scores have remained absolutely stable. Don’t get caught playing the game where we pretend we’re talking about progress, but we’re really just talking about change. Real, positive change is about progress. It’s about understanding the principles to help you make the changes that result in positive growth, advancement, and success.

Change and progress. Make sure they both happen together!

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  1. Most people tend to resist change.  It makes them uncomfortable.  The same people will often more easily embrace progress as foward movement.  Perhaps we should focus on progress as our objective instead of change – and relegate change to only a necessary step in the pursuit of progress.  While this concept may seem to be just an exercise in semantics… the concept of change can create real fear and even paralysis in people.  When we speak of change the first response is to think, "How will this affect me?"  By focusing on progress the attention is shifted to the goal and away from the individual. Food for thought.  Mark Dreistadt, Infinity Concepts,

  2. A basic management concept is the "Change Curve" typified by the letter "V". At the top left of of the letter is where a change is implemented. As the shape of the "V" moves down and to the right we see how most people/organizations react to the change in a negative manner.  The bottom section of the "V" is a valley, know as the Valley of Despair.  Where people hit rock bottom during a time of change. I see this daily in my consulting world.  Then we start to see people reacting positively (the up movement of the "V") as they realise the change was a good thing, and has helped them or their organization.   Ways to positivly start the change process in an organization is to celebrate the start, middle and end of the change.  Hold a banquet with the team or Ministry, give special recognition to those who will be most affected by the change.  Insure the players that they are not alone during the change process, help them to see that by embracing the change they may, learn new things, increase their skills, and be a part of the change and not just on the outside looking in.  OF course all of this requires the management/Ministry buy in to make it work.  I live in a big world of CHANGE.  We express in many ways and try to disguise it, but it all comes down to breaking through the confort zone, allowing a new aspect to enter in and creating a new comfort zone.  Now you have to ask Phil how he sells the change to a ministry in the first place! 🙂

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